Holidays are the best. From the minute you click the shiny submit button or you walk out of the travel agents with your booking confirmation, the excitement is real. It hits you like a 40 Tonne Truck. Whether it’s a last minute trip or one that has been booked months or even years in advance. You will be full of those holiday feels. From the minute your holiday is confirmed you are buoyed by the excitement of the countdown. Booking excursions, buying currency, holiday clothes and all the little bits in between that prepare you for your upcoming trip. All those final little touches to make sure you are ready and your holiday is perfect. You are riding on the crest of the excitement wave. KOWABUNGA.
But there comes a time when the days are closing in and before you know it you’re within touching distance. You can already feel the hug from the heat of the sunshine as you get off the airplane. Holiday Week is a big deal. It’s the moment you have been waiting for but there is also so much going on that it can be a little overwhelming. We are in that place right now. Counting down 5 Glorious Days until we leave the UK on a Jet Plane headed for our most favourite destination. The feels are real, the excitement is fever pitch however the pre-holiday preparation is building to a crescendo of…Have i got everything? In this weeks post i am going to be talking about the the 5 stages or pre-holiday excitement that you will feel on the run up to your best holiday yet.
Stage 1 – The Excitement Stage
Your Holiday is booked wooo! Cue the Obligatory Holiday Post on The Gram, Twitterspere and Facebook just to let everyone you are going on holiday. Yaaasss! You can now spend the best part of the next however many months daydreaming about your trip. Researching anything and everything that you can do while you are away.
This is the perfect time for research. You and google will become Best Friends while searching for your destination and everything you can find in and around the area. All the attractions, land marks and best food, because is it even a holiday without too much food? But its all about finding those little things that will make this the best holiday ever. You may even find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something nee. Skydiving huh? The thought terrifies you but you’re on holiday, so you have to be living your best vacay life. Why the hell not right. Daredevil is definitely on the holiday checklist for your destination.
Over time you find yourself making a list of all these places to see and things to do. Before you know that list is longer than a 5 year olds Christmas List to Santa. Who can blame you it’s all just so exciting. So much so that money becomes no object at this stage. Before you know it you’re spending it up like Beyonce in Chanel, with a much smaller bank balance obviously. But it’s cool, your holiday is already paid for and this isn’t spending money so it’s just a little extra that you ‘won’t notice’. You will but one you will never regret. Totally worth it.
Finally your holiday is getting closer. The pre-holiday excitement will have been leaking into every area of your life for a while now. Most of your research has been done and you have your trusty list. Some of these activities have already been booked, others you’re still undecided on. Winging it just incase something better comes up. Every thought and feeling you have is Holiday. Searching for adventure after adventure.
But its not until the 2 weeks leading up to your trip that you are completely buzzing. Work takes a back seat and actually so does most of life’s responsibilities. You find yourself in that holiday bubble. It’s all you can think about. Rather than completely focusing on work, you’re trawling through various websites and watching Vlogs on Youtube just to feel like you’re already there. Now comes the time where you’re looking up the finer details such as airport lounges and the best rates for your travel money.
Maybe you’re trying to find some nice shopping outlets where you can give your purse a workout. Figuring out what you’re going to buy as a holiday treat yourself. Or to buy some nice unique holiday souvenirs and gifts to bring back to the motherland to remind you of your time there. Now is when Itinerary planning becomes EVERYTHING. You may not plan out every single day to the nth degree but you will have put together an idea of what you want to see and do while you are there.
Not only that but Social media will become your muse. You’ll find yourself scrolling through instagram feeds chock full of your destination of choice and liking absolutely everything. Something new or different will catch your eye. You will start making comments, trying to find insider tips to add to your list. Those last minute bits to wrap up your holiday prep.
Stage 3 – The Panic Stage
You’re finally in your holiday week! Woo. Which can only mean one thing, it’s time to start getting yourself ready for your departure. You have spent so long cruising on the wave of excitement, you start to realise how much you now have to do. And thats frigging scary. How could you have been daydreaming for this long? And not realised you’re actually not Mary Poppins so you can’t just make your case pack itself.
It’s at this point that most of us feel very panicked and robbed of time. And Packing is by far the biggest obstacle you are going to face. Depending on the type of person you are can depend on the array of emotions you are feeling. There are 3 Main types of Packers:
The Last Minute Packers – You leave everything to the last minute, whether thats life in general or packing. Turning up in their own time, usually at the very last minute for night’s out, work etc. Night before packing? You’ve got this and take it in your stride. They fly by the seat of their pants and are so laidback about everything they are almost laying down. Last Minute Packers tend to start sorting and packing their clothes with hours sometimes minutes to spare. They know what they need and that they have the most important things such as Passport and ticket. If they have forgotten something, no biggie the will grab it at the airport or when they arrive from a local convenience store. No Stress needed here.
The Perfectionist Packers – Like a drill sergeant they have their plan locked down and it is a regimented operation. Reservations, Clothes, Toiletries are sorted months in advance. Everything is set in stone and planned with military precision. Packing Checklists are a staple and you check everything off as you go to make sure you have everything you need. They start packing with more than a month to go. Your suitcases are packed and ready weeks out. They know they have everything they need because they have specifically planned it that way. Perfectionist Packers are so organised they have bags of time, no pun intended. They spend the days rolling up to the holiday ridiculously chilled.
The Marathon Packers – A hybrid of the last minute and perfectionist packer but sitting just in between. You have your holiday planned loosely in advance. You have a few things planned but not everything and Packing Essentials are purchased as you go. This can span months to days before. You usually start packing your suitcase in the week running up to your holiday. Adding little bits here and there. You may forget a couple of little things along the way but its ok you still have time to grab them. Sometimes you can be packed with a day or 2 to spare and sometimes you’re finishing up before you leave. The double checkers, tending to re-check their case to make sure they have everything they need. Marathon packers always tend to overpack as they accumulate so much overtime and before the big packing event, that they have options for every eventuality.
Now i’m definitely a marathon packer, i start out ahead of the curve but don’t start the process of packing until a couple of days before. Usually the night before and it is stress city. Whatever your packing type, we all feel an element of panic in the preparation that takes the edge of the excitement. It’s the fact that you have waited so long for this moment and there never really is the perfect time to start getting everything together. The Main things is you have the essentials and you can create a list. You learn to chillax a little. It’s going to be ok.
Stage 4 – The Night Before
It’s finally here, the last sleep. You’re leaving on a jet plane tomorrow. Buh-bye Home. Hello beautiful scenery and exciting adventures that await. The Holiday is feeling so real by this point. But so is the Stress. You’ve gone through the panic of packing and getting your shit together. Packing your life into one little suitcase for 2 weeks. Surely thats the hardest part. But then the stress sets in. Have you forgotten something? Are your cases overweight? What if they don’t accept your visa or Passport? What’s the weather like? Have i packed practical enough clothes for every eventuality? These are a number of thoughts sailing through your head. You check over your documents and carefully sift through your case. Just to make sure the suitcase fairies haven’t somehow mischievously pulled something out of your case only for you to leave it behind.
You double check everything before finally giving up because whatev’s you’re overthinking Sister and this holiday princess needs her beauty sleep. You know you’ve got your passport, booking confirmations and most of the essentials, at least you can get there. All looks good, you give a small sigh of relief. Thats stage one done but now you have to try and go to sleep despite bouncing off the walls with the excitement of a 5 year old going to Disney World. No amount of early nights or good intentions will help you calm down. You settle in with a Cuppa waiting for mother nature to do her worst.
Stage 5 – Euphoria Stage
Today is the big day..it’s travel day! It’s finally here, the day you’ve been waiting for. You are so happy you could burst and do a little happy dance. Time to throw on your travel outfit, gather all your important stuff, and be on your way. Once you make it to the airport with plenty of time, you breathe a sigh of relief. Nothing got left behind and the journey went without a hitch. No delays and you are right on time for you scheduled arrival at the airport. The Gateway to the world.
All that panic and stress seems like a lifetime ago. Suitcases checked in and boarding passes issued. You are now ready to start enjoying your long awaited holiday. You sail through security ready to board your flight when you are called. It’s now time to sit back, enjoy a cheeky glass of wine and a snack or 3. Dutch courage for the flight or relief the stress is over. Now you really can relax and give yourself up to the full-blown euphoria of knowing that you are off on your holiday at last! You wait patiently to board the Plane. And then you’re off, all your worries take off just as you do. See you on the other side.
Thats a wrap
If you’re anything like me, you will have been through every emotion during your pre-holiday experience. Despite some of the stress, it wouldn’t be a holiday without going through the motions.
Where are you off to for your next trip? What are your pre-holiday feels, do you go into panic mode or are you loving every moment? Let me know in the comments below